Friday, January 6, 2012

Chip Wilson Stepping Down From Lulu

Just announced widely today - Chip Wilson, Lululemon's founder, will be stepping down from management of the company, effective January 29th. He'll remain on the board of directors. Interesting. I know lululemon has made him a billionaire and one of the richest men in Canada so is he semi-retiring or is there something more to this announcement? The statement to the public was quite brief so I wonder if there is an interesting back story.

12 comments:

Alicia said...

Hm thats werid...

I've been enjoying your blog for awhile now. Keep it up! :)

Anonymous said...

I have to be honest...the company needs some help if they want to continue to grow. they are not up to par with other companies in their range with customer service, returns, website, etc...i also wonder if recent articles (as unfounded as most of it appears to have been) was a factor? even if it's not true, bad press can hurt you. Their stock was down last q...lots of possibilities i suppose. i hope we hear more. i want to believe that this is the beginning of some positive change.

Anonymous said...

It's such short notice (less than a month) that its a little strange. Given his history and with the size of this public company, any sort of transition is usually long planned out and announced. Also, not like his title was a real position (Chief Innovation and Branding), doubt that he was really working day to day anyway, so to have to officially step down so quickly is odd.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if this article in the Huffington Post had anything to do with it? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stewart-j-lawrence/when-yogis-kill-the-grisl_b_1077457.html

Anonymous said...

That article has lots of problems...the 1st is calling it an article. It's honestly more an editorial. He sites other articles/editorials as sources. It's not well researched. Also... That death was a tragedy, but by no means chip's fault & to blame him is ludicrous. Are there issues with the company? Sure. However most companies have something. There are far worse companies out there. This did bring some bad press for the company and people jumped ship left and right without proper research and I thought that was bad. Someone actually wrote an editorial on huffington post (by another contributed there who was pissed by the inaccuracies) but no one ever posts it....would be fair to 2 sides.

Anonymous said...

i think they really need to work on their customer service...i recently call GEC to return and item and was asked why i couldn't just go to the store and also why i was returning it - i was not prepared for such an inquisition for a simple return. these are just clothes, after all.

Anonymous said...

I think Chips retirement is a good thing..... lets move on to better customer service.

Anonymous said...

I've been involved with lots of companies at various start-up and growing phases. A founder getting pushed out at some point is nothing shocking. It happens all the time. The only thing that surprises me is that the Board of Directors and any initial investors allowed Chip to stay that long. Usually founders are pushed out before the company goes public.

Anonymous said...

I am excited to see this news! Time for a change!

LuluAddict said...

That Huffington post article was such crap - lazy, sensationalist reporting. Lulu made a bad hiring decision and has some employee safety procedures to fix. Jayna Murray's parents should sue the shit out of lulu and get a big settlement. That's one way to get a company to make changes.

I recently read an article asking if the John Galt bags had something to do with his leaving (BTW, Elephant Journal don't spam my Facebook page!). The guy who wrote this must not have been following lulu long. They love controversial publicity. I'm sure many of you have seen the Say No To Camel Toe ad. That was more cringe-worthy then the John Galt thing. The media made a big stink about those stupid bags but I believe 99% of lulu customers could give a rat's ass (and honestly, a large percentage weren't even familiar with the reference in the first place.) The media always repeats the same line that lulu sells a "lifestyle" via its manifesto but the manifesto is just slick marketing IMO. I like the clothes because they fit women's bodies well, they're cute, and they perform. It's quite brilliant how the stores offer free classes and promote the product via pricey studios. Very slick but we all know it's done to sell more clothes. I think the corporation needs some work, particularly in customer service and the website, but I only really care about the clothes. I'm not buying into a message or a lifestyle.

As for Chip being pushed out, I have to believe he has to be one big reason why they have underfunded and understaffed the website. Someone at the top of the corporate food chain has a deliberate anti-web bias. There is no excuse for such a crap website from a company that does many other things well.

Anonymous said...

Change can be a good thing, esp when it comes to their customer service. I also agree that Jayna's parents should sue the shit out of them for endangering employees in the way they did

Anonymous said...

I interviewed at a Lululemon for a part time position while finishing up my degree and while they loved me, I felt like running in the opposite direction from the strange cult-like company culture. Sure, Lululemon clothes are cute but the consistent quality issues and ridiculous high price tags wreak of blatant and obvious greed.